As a generator, you may hear other companies talk about their waste diversion rate and ways their number gives them an edge in the market. A waste diversion rate, sometimes called a landfill diversion rate, is a sustainability measure of how much waste your company keeps out of landfills. That is, a total calculation of the amount of waste your company reduces, reuses or recycles.
Federal and state laws regulating pharmaceutical waste disposal are both numerous and strict. Unfortunately, they are also complex, since there are so many different products that are regulated. For example, a typical hospital pharmacy may stock between 2,000 and 4,000 different items, and each must be evaluated against state and federal hazardous waste regulations. Hazardous pharmaceutical waste is governed by the toughest set of regulations under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).
Once you have determined that your company generates hazardous waste, it is time to determine what the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines as your "generator status" or "enerator category." Your generator status depends on the amount of hazardous waste your company produces each month and must always be measured in pounds. Ultimately, your generator status affects how you should manage your hazardous waste to be in compliance with federal and or State regulations.
For generators of any size, successfully managing a waste disposal program can be extremely challenging. Between training employees on protocols and remaining in compliance with ever-changing local, state and federal regulations while being cost efficient, it can seem impossible to manage with so many moving parts. But the consequences of mishandled waste can cause irreparable damage not only to your employees and your business, but far beyond.
Whatever product or service your company intends to produce — whether you operate a printing business, a mid-size painting operation or are a large consumer commodity manufacturing company — you may also generate something you may not have intended: hazardous waste. These solids, sludges, liquids, or gaseous materials have the potential to harm the environment or human health if they are thrown into landfills and disposed of improperly.
Last week, Enviro-Safe Resource Recovery celebrated 17 years of service in resource recovery and sustainable waste management programs. In 2002, we began offering cost-effective, environmentally sound waste minimization and recycling programs to our first client, a multi-national manufacturer who needed a help in waste minimization and compliance for its high-speed packaging, labeling and filling equipment operations.